Annual Sailfest in New London gets soggy start today - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Annual Sailfest in New London gets soggy start today

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The 40th annual Sailfest got off to a soggy start on Friday in New London. (WFSB) The 40th annual Sailfest got off to a soggy start on Friday in New London. (WFSB)
The official noon opening for Sailfest was pushed back to around 5 p.m. (WFSB) The official noon opening for Sailfest was pushed back to around 5 p.m. (WFSB)
There's more than 200 vendors, food stands and rides at the annual Sailfest. (WFSB) There's more than 200 vendors, food stands and rides at the annual Sailfest. (WFSB)
NEW LONDON, CT (WFSB) -

The 40th annual Sailfest got off to a soggy start on Friday in New London.

Rain delayed the opening for several hours, but, by dinner time, the rain was gone, and it was full steam ahead for the festivities. The rain Friday really kept people away. In fact, it kept some of the vendors from setting up on time, so the official noon opening was pushed back to around 5 p.m.

After that time, people were still slowly making their way through the annual event. Any patrons will not be dealing with massive crowds.

There's more than 200 vendors, food stands, and rides. Organizers are touting Gaspar's baby back ribs this year. There are two stages for performers and the music will go all the way to 11 p.m. The big ships, which really are the stars of Sailfest, are still making their way. People can see them dock for the weekend.  

The weekend festivities continue Saturday with a fireworks show too.

On Saturday at 4 am, vehicles parked in the following locations will be issued parking tickets and towed:

  • Bank Street from Tilley Street to State Street
  • South Water Street (entire length)
  • State Street from S. Water Street to Eugene O’Neill Drive 
  • Atlantic Street (entire length)
  • Bank Street Connector
  • Bank Street between Blinman Street and Woviotis Place
  • Blinman Street between Bank Street and Brewer Street (both sides) [UAC parking only]

On Saturday at 6 am, the following streets shall be closed to traffic:

  • State Street between Eugene O’Neill Drive and Bank Street, which will remain closed overnight,
  • South Water Street, which will remain closed overnight,
  • Bank Street between Tilley Street and State Street, which will remain closed overnight,
  • Eugene O’Neill Dr. between Gov. Winthrop Boulevard and Green Street (approx. 4 pm - 10 pm)
  • Bank Street –Northbound @ Howard Street (approx. 4 pm - 10 pm)

 On Sunday,  the following streets shall be closed to traffic as follows:

  • State Street between Eugene O’Neill Drive and Bank Street until festival ends. 
  • South Water Street until festival ends.
  • Bank Street between Tilley Street and State Street closed until festival ends.
  • Eugene O’Neill Drive will be closed from Masonic Street to State Street for the staging of the road race. (9 am - 9:15 am)

There will be Sailfest 2017 Charter Oak Federal Credit Union - 5K Road Race at about 9:15 a.m. on Sunday. The route is the following: 

  • Begins in front of Citizens Bank on Eugene O’Neill Drive, down Eugene O’Neill Drive, left onto Tilley Street, right onto Bank Street, left onto Howard Street, right onto Willetts Avenue, right onto Montauk Avenue, right onto Bank Street, left onto Tilley Street, straight onto Huntington Street, right onto Governor Winthrop Boulevard, right onto Eugene O’Neill Drive, left onto State Street to the finish line.

Police said the following traffic considerations will be in place for the Fishers Island Ferry arrival and departures:

  • The last ferry leaving New London on Saturday will be 3:30 p.m.
  • The last ferry arriving from Fishers Island on Saturday will be at 5:30 p.m.
  • A checkpoint will be established at Water Street and Atlantic Street during festival hours to allow access to the terminal.  

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